By MICHAEL GINGOLD
Kissing Candice have been banging out their horror-infused brand of heavy metal since 2012, and now they’ve teamed with an effects legend for a new look, and have multiple projects in different media coming up.
The five members of Kissing Candice are donning new face gear, and Tom Savini was the man behind the “Aunt Donna” getups worn by vocalist Joey. The masks for Dreamer (vocals/guitar), Suffront (guitar) and Grip (bass) were created by up-and-coming underground designer Jeff Koncor, and drummer Pak made his own disguise (with a little help from a blowtorch). Following their photos (by Andrew Wolfe) are comments from each of the band:
Joey: “The evolution of Aunt Donna is constantly growing. This cycle of her is very–how can I say it?–psycho-erotic maneater. A cross between Marilyn Manson, Buffalo Bill and Freddie Mercury, a strange and weird mashup. They’re full-head silicone masks along with a fur coat, straitjacket-style corset, knee-high platform boots and a few other over-the-top accessories you’ll have to wait to see. The masks were made by Tom Savini and the super-talented Jason Baker of Callosum Studios, who’s worked with Corey Taylor of Slipknot, Bray Wyatt of WWE, Code Orange, The Misfits and Lady Gaga.”
Suffront: “The inspiration for my mask is the “Santiago Fulanito” urban legend from my native country of the Dominican Republic. The story goes that back in the ’70s in the city of Santiago, DR, a priest’s son was run over by an all-black Buick in front of a church during a Palm Sunday service, and every Palm Sunday since, you can hear his cries at the downtown monument. The alien from M. Night Shyamalan’s SIGNS is also in the mix. It’s a latex mask with bulgy bug eyes made of female sunglass lenses and two rubber horns on the top. I wanted it would to look like an alien and a Dominican demon had a few drinks and made a baby.”
Dreamer: “My mask is based on the fact that things with somewhat recognizable but unclear features mess with your mind, and your brain fills in the details. Aesthetically, it’s taken from the movie GOODNIGHT MOMMY and the famous Edvard Munch painting THE SCREAM. Featureless always leaves you scratching your head and looking and wanting more, and that’s the aim of this mask.”
Grip: “With my masks, I have always gone for evolution. I want each one to have some features from the last. These features have always been an exaggeration on the human face, with a large grin and huge eyes; I’ve always felt there’s something off-putting about that. I want my masks to always be recognizable in the sense that you can tell it’s still me, but a different version. Over the years, I have drawn influence in my masks and costumes from a variety of sources; my look is inspired by steampunk universes and HELLRAISER.”
Pak: “My mask was originally based on Reaper’s Nevermore skin from the game OVERWATCH, and was gifted to me by a good friend a couple of years ago. But in order to make it unrecognizable, it had to be drastically altered. The material is fiberglass plastic that easily warps under the exposure of applied heat. I wanted to take it a step further and literally burn the surface of the mask. While we were in the studio at the beginning of 2020 recording our newest album, our vocalist was able to provide me a proper blowtorch. You can watch the entire transformation in our studio documentary.”
Below you can see the new video for Kissing Candice’s “Tapeworm” (the band’s next single, to be released Friday the 13th of November), which was directed by Tom Flynn, who has done clips for Lamb of God, All That Remains, Ice-T’s Body Count, 10 Years and numerous other artists. And below that, you can see four panels from an upcoming collaboration between the band and Sacred Chaos Comics, coming in 2021 to tie in with the release of Kissing Candice’s new album. You can keep up and engage with the group at their official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.